Stereotypes Of Janie

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Initially, Janie was portrayed as obedient and submissive yet over time she developed into an independent woman who defies the stereotype of females in her time period. Throughout Janie’s younger years, she fits the common mold for gender roles of the time period through passive and overly dependent behavior. This behavior is mostly seen during her relationships with Logan and Joe Starks. “In the few days to live before she went to Logan Killicks [...] yes, she should love Logan after they were married. She could see no way for it to come about, but Nanny and the old folks had said it, so it must be so” (21). Through the use of morose diction in the opening statement of “in the few days left to live”, the reader can infer that the marriage…show more content…
When Janie and Tea Cake move to the muck, she is first seen as a snobby wife who just sits around the house. “It was generally assumed that she thought herself too good to work like the rest of the women and that Tea Cake ‘pomped her up tuh dat’. But all day long the romping and playing they carried on behind the boss’s back made her popular right away” (133). An important step in Janie’s transformation involves her willingness to work in the fields along with the men. The symbolism of this action is that a gender barrier is broken and Janie shows a truly independent side of her. The significance of this symbol for equality is that Janie defies the common assumption that women do not work. Hurston instead depicts Janie as a strong woman who takes part in the perceived ‘man’s labor’ as a representation for how women should act. In spite of the fact that Janie was originally not a strong woman and made choices that negatively affected her life, she grows into a woman who is able to self-actualize and strongly take pride in her choices. “Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon, like a great fish net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see” (193). Hurston utilizes simile
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